Snow report, w/e 2nd March 2013
Posted by Snow forecast 27th February 2013
The ski season is moving into Spring in fine fashion and if you haven't had your ski fix yet this year then what are you waiting for? Here is a round up of the conditions in ski resorts around the world, courtesy of J2ski.com.
This week’s headlines
• Mt Baker heads towards top of world snowdepth table with 70cm new snow in past week.
• Engelberg’s 5m snow depth deepest in the Alps.
• Cauterets nears 6m based depth after new snow.
• Scottish ski areas have already received more skiers this season than by the end of last.
• Up to two feet of new snow reported in the Dolomites.
Austria has definitely been the snowiest part of the Alps over the past week, and indeed many resorts have seen between 15 and 30cm (6-12 inches) of fresh snow in the past 72 hours. Some of the biggest accumulations have been reported by Kitzbuhel (35cm), Neustift (30cm), Zell am See (24cm), Bad Kleinkirchheim (23cm) and Pitztal (20cm). The snowfall is now easing down however and not much is expected over the coming week. The country’s deepest snow is still on its highest slopes at the Pitztal Glacier (3.5m), but most big name resorts have healthy bases too, such as the 2.4m (six feet) lying at St Anton or the 165cm (5.5 feet) at Kitzbuhel.
There’s not a whole lot of fresh snow in France but unless you’ve wanting deep fresh powder not many people are complaining as the pistes are in great shape and the snow cover deep. Those that have posted fresh snow recently include Meribel with 20cm (8 inches) and Avoriaz and Courchevel each with 12cm (5 inches) at the weekend but mostly it’s been clear or just an inch of snow has fallen. French resorts continue to boast some of the best snow depths anywhere. With Flaine on a 4m base and many others in the 3-4m base bracket including Alpe d’Huez (3.8m), Chamonix (3.5m), Val Thorens (3.35m) La Rosiere (3.3m) and La Clusaz (3.25m).
The Dolomites have seen some of the biggest snowfalls anywhere in the past week with Arabba reporting a 60cm (two foot) accumulation. Madonna di Campiglio also did well, adding 35cm and many other resorts in the region have reported 15-25cm of new snow, much of it since the weekend. There have been smaller snowfalls in the Alps but 10cm or so for Aosta Valley resorts has certainly helped keep cover fresh there. Passo Tonale’s 3.5m (nearly 12 foot) base remains the deepest in Italy with most areas reporting 1-2.5m bases and great conditions on piste.
Like most Swiss resorts Engelberg hasn’t had any snow in the past week, but it retains the title of deepest base in the Alps with 5m, down just 10cm from last week. However some big name areas have each received around 20cm (8 inches) of fresh, including Grindelwald and Murren in the Jungfrau and Saas Fee and St Moritz. Swiss resort base depths remain the best in the Alps, and indeed the world, with typically 2.5-3.5m on upper slopes. Besides Engelberg, Andermatt has one of the best bases at 4.2m (14 feet, 10cm/4 inches of fresh) and Gstaad has 4.4m.
The snow has returned to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees with up to a foot (30cm) of fresh stuff reported at Formigal and Baqueira beret which continue to boast some of the deepest snow in the world having around 4.5m (15 foot) bases. Not quite so deep in Andorra at 2.2-3.2m (7.3 – 10.6 feet) but Soldeu has posted the biggest fresh snow accumulation of the past week with a reported 60cm (2 feet) of new cover. On the French side there’s little fresh cover but Cauterets still claims the world’s deepest snow base at 5.9m (19.65 feet).
Bansko has hit 2.5m on its upper slopes after another four inches (12cm) of snow fell in the last few days, other Bulgarian areas have healthy 1.5-1.8m (5-6 feet) bases and elsewhere in eastern Europe there have been heavy snowfalls in the Czech and Slovak republics and bases e up to 1.,54m in resorts like Kranjska Gora in Slovenia.
There’s been little change in base depths in Scandinavia over the past week with not much new snow. However base depths are healthy, snow in good shape, most runs open and lift operating across the region. It’s cold, unsurprisingly, with temperatures dipping to -20C at night in Lapland although rising to freezing during the day and bases around a metre, with Yllas’s 110cm the deepest. There’s been almost no snow reported in Norway in the past week either where Hemsedal has a 1.2m base and Voss 2.2m. The only significant snowfall has been at are which had 8cm of new snow at the weekend and now has a 75cm base.
Scotland is enjoying some of the best skiing conditions for years at present and some of the best weather in Britain as the five ski areas approach two weeks of enjoying more or less all runs open and top to bottom snow cover with hard packed pistes and none of the usual wind chill or cloud – just blue skies. This week, with most of the half term holidaymakers gone, the centres have been quieter too so queues for lifts and services are also largely gone for midweek visitors. The only downside of the settled weather has been little fresh snowfall (although there was a dusting on Sunday morning) and icy conditions first thing after steep temperature drops overnight.
Ski-Scotland, the partnership which promotes snowsports in Scotland, reports that this winter is shaping up to be one of the best in recent years. Already last winter’s total figure has been surpassed, and the number of skiers and snowboarders who have enjoyed this year’s snow already stands at over 140,000, well ahead of most seasons in the last decade.
There have been some larger snowfalls in Canada this week compared to last with powder times in BC in particular where Revelstoke has added 50cm of new snow since this time a week ago and Fernie, with more than a foot of fresh stuff, has moved to the top of the country’s snow depth table at 252cm. Whistler has also had one of the world’s biggest snow falls of the past seven days, adding 55cm. Most other BC resorts and Banff in Alberta have had 15-25cm of fresh snow. And there’s good news on the East of the country in Quebec too with 10-20cm at Mont ste Anne and Mont Tremblant.
Things are looking decidedly snowy once again in western North America and Mt Baker in Washington state, officially the resort with on average the greatest snowfall in the world every season (around 19m) is moving back towards its usually number one spot with 75cm of snow in the past week – 45cm of that in the past 24 hours – giving it a 550cm base, the deepest in the US and now second in the world to Cauterets in the Pyrenees. But it’s not just Mt Baker, most US resorts have seen healthy snowfalls over the past week and Colorado resorts finally have healthy powder depths and totals getting up close to Utah resorts. Aspen reported more than 50cm in the past week, Breckenridge and Vail about a foot each, the latter moving past its 1m base depth for the first time this season. Jackson Hole and Mammoth are among others to add at least 30cm too, the latter with the deepest snow of a major US resort now at 475cm. There’s been big snowfalls on the East coast too with Sunday River in Maine adding 40cm and Sugarbush and Killington 30cm each in the past week.
About the author
Whenever we get snow reports from our people in the mountains, we'll post them here.
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